Central nervous system serotonin function and cardiovascular responses to stress.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of indices of central nervous system (CNS) serotonin function on cardiovascular reactivity to mental stress. METHODS: Lumbar puncture was performed on 54 healthy volunteers to obtain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for determination of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) levels. Genotypes were determined with respect to a functional polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene promoter region (5HTTLPR). Subjects then underwent mental stress testing. RESULTS: Persons with one or two long (l) 5HTTLPR alleles had CSF levels of the major serotonin metabolite, 5HIAA, that were 50% higher than those of persons with the s/s 5HTTLPR genotype. Persons with one or two l alleles or higher CSF 5HIAA levels also exhibited greater blood pressure and heart rate responses to a mental stress protocol. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest the 5HTTLPR polymorphism affects CNS serotonin function, and they are consistent with the general hypothesis that CNS serotonin function is involved in the regulation of potentially health-damaging biobehavioral characteristics. In particular, the l allele could contribute, through its association with increased cardiovascular reactivity to stress, to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Williams, RB; Marchuk, DA; Gadde, KM; Barefoot, JC; Grichnik, K; Helms, MJ; Kuhn, CM; Lewis, JG; Schanberg, SM; Stafford-Smith, M; Suarez, EC; Clary, GL; Svenson, IK; Siegler, IC

Published Date

  • March 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 63 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 300 - 305

PubMed ID

  • 11292279

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0033-3174

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00006842-200103000-00016


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States